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Redmire Quarry

THORNY BANK HILL QUARRY, REDMIRE

OS Sheet

Map Reference:  SE 046932

Aspect: South West

Altitude:  360m

Approach:  1 minute

Original text by Karl Lunt.

 

Situation and Character

Redmire Quarry is a very large limestone quarry overlooking Wensleydale just north of the village of Redmire.  It faces south and west, catches the sun and dries quickly.  It provides an excellent summer evening venue.  The quarry itself is a desolate wasteland, which would pass muster as a Dr Who set or a spaghetti western landscape but the outward views are exceptionally fine.  Being a fairly recent development many of the climbs have had only a few ascents and so visitors must be wary of loose rock in some areas.  However there are some outstanding routes here, which make Redmire well worth a visit, particularly for teams operating at E1 and above.  At present, all development is in the western end of the quarry nearest the road.  The rock is very rough - almost like gritstone in places. Climbing to the east of the section described below is not recommended as the rock becomes very unstable and fragile. Belaying at the top is to stakes driven into the moor (bring your own stake and mallet!).

 Approaches and Access

The quarry is easily accessible from the minor road, which links Redmire in Wensleydale with Grinton in Swaledale.  Just a couple of kilometers north of Redmire the quarry will be seen on the eastern side of the road.  There is parking for several cars in lay-bys on the same side of the road.  A simple short walk leads into the climbing areas.  The quarry buildings marked on the map were dismantled in the early nineties.   Currently access can be a problem.  The land is owned by the Bolton Estate, which is tending to refuse access because of concerns about its liability.  The BMC is being requested to negotiate on behalf of climbers.  In the meantime prospective climbers at the quarry should seek permission from the Bolton Estate Head Keeper in Leyburn (tel: 01969-622836).

 

No Access:

" Redmire Quarry forms part of a larger active quarry and is currently in lease to Tarmac Quarry Products. As you may appreciate, there can be significant risks associated with quarrying operations and Tarmac operate strict health and safety procedures regulating access to the site. Furthermore, access by climbers (or other members of the public) is not authorised by the landowners and they accept no liability for anyone using their land for climbing, or for any other activity that is carried out without their express permission. "   On behalf of  the Bolton Estates, who own Redmire Quarry in North Yorkshire.  7th June 2004       

 

History

Several old belay stakes above the First Wall indicate that someone was active here but left no record of their deeds.  RAF Mountain Rescue units may have used the wall as a practice facility and possibly some routes were ascended at this time.  The present band of explorers, however could find no signs of wear and tear even on the most obvious lines.  Dave Hetherington climbed here in 1992 but left no records.  History for Redmire Quarry began in May 1992 when Karl Lunt and Geoff Dawson climbed a handful of lines on the First Wall including the excellent Winning Streak.  A damp September day later in the year produced several more very good routes.  John Stringfellow led Crocodile Sandwich and Lunt succeeded on Dawson’s Downfall, which had earlier given Dawson free flying lessons.  A report was then produced and published in the 1994 LCCC Journal since when the number of routes has trebled.  Development over the next few years was very sporadic.  Alison Sharman joined Lunt on Cobscar Wall in May 1994 and a few unremarkable routes were produced the following year.  The next major phase began in 1998 with the introduction of Geoff Hibbert, prised away from the Lancashire quarries.  When Geoff had stopped slavering over the acres of unclimbed rock he set to gardening with a vengeance.  Activities centred on the untouched areas further right of the First Wall.  His best effort was the fine crack and aręte of (22) which is still the hardest route to date.  Adam Richardson, also on loan from Wilton Wanderers was involved here at this time producing (23) and accompanying Lunt and Hibbert on the deceptively fierce Gordon. Tony Madden had expressed an interest in new routing and 1999 found him providing a bold direct start to Starting Point and a return to the First Wall with the necky Pussy Galore.  At the same time Lunt found success here with Indrec, which had resisted earlier attempts. Some of the routes were led by Tony and Gareth Harrison and John Dale in the summer of 1999.  Chris Shorter left his mark in the summer of 2002 with the first sport route at the crag, Flashing Blade.

The Climbs

Walking in from the road the first developed section is on the left and consists of a long flat wall seamed with cracks.

 

First Wall

A large, dirty corner bounds the left side of First Wall.  Nine metres right of this a grass-choked ramp reaches the quarry floor. The climbs are described from LEFT to RIGHT.

 

1. Owd Bartle          17m          VS  4c

The prominent crack which begins partway up the grassy ramp.  Climb easy ground below the ramp to gain and follow the crack.              

Karl Lunt, Alison Sharman               7/5/94

 

2. Cobscar Wall          18m          E2 5c  **

Start at the foot of the ramp.  Climb a thin crack then move diagonally right below a slanting overlap to reach a finger crack.  Step back left above the overlap and follow another thin crack direct to the top.             

Karl Lunt, Alison Sharman               7/5/94

 

3. Tumbling Dice          17m          E1 5b  **

Start 3m right of the ramp at an obvious finger crack.  Climb this to just below the small roof.  Move left here and follow another crack system to the top.  

Geoff Dawson, Karl Lunt                 9/5/92

 

4. Dawson's Downfall          17m          E2 5c  ***

Climb "Tumbling Dice" to the small roof but continue over the roof using the thin, rightward slanting crack.  Finish up the wall above.                   

Karl Lunt, John Stringfellow            26/9/92

 

5. Winning Streak          17m          E1 5b  ***

Start 6m right of the ramp.  Climb a hand-width crack then the thinner crack which slants up to the left.

Karl Lunt, Geoff Dawson 10/5/92

 

Moving right there is a square-cut sentry box and a small cave at 3 metres height.

 

6. The Strip          17m          E1 5b  *

Climb the thin leftward-trending crack which rises out of the sentry box.

Karl Lunt, John Stringfellow            26/9/92

 

7. Apedale Road          17m          HVS 5a  *

Gain the small cave then ascend the wide crack past the tree.  It is possibly easier to Start up The Strip and move right to gain the tree (VS 4b).

Karl Lunt, Alison Sharman - 7/5/94)   Variation Tony and Gareth Harrison and John Dale in the summer of 1999

 

8. Crocodile Sandwich          17m          E2 5c  **

Start just right of the small cave below a smooth wall.  Climb this with difficulty to reach a thin, discontinuous crack.  Follow this past an overlap in the wall right of "Apedale Road". 

John Stringfellow, Karl Lunt                26/9/92

 

9. House Of Cards          17m          E1 5a

Climb the obvious crack line 4m right of the small cave past two small niches.  Pull gently on the hollow blocks.     

Karl Lunt, John Stringfellow            26/9/92

 

Eight metres right of the small cave is a squat, broken pillar.

 

10. Roll The Bones          17m          E2 5b  *

Climb the thin, disjointed crack 2m right of the pillar to a steep finish.    

Karl Lunt, Geoff Dawson - 10/5/92

 

Moving right again there is a long flat roof halfway up the face.

 

11. No Cause For Alarm  16m  E1 5b

Climb the crack which heads for the left end of the long roof.  Pull out left below this then step back right above it. Finish up the wall direct.    

John Stringfellow, Karl Lunt                 26/9/92

 

To the right, the long flat roof merges into a bulge.

 

12. Indrec  E2 5c  **

Climb a crack (hard to start) to reach the bulge.  Pull over this using the thin, crescent-shaped crack.  Continue up the wall above.   

Karl Lunt, Tony Madden                 17/4/99

 

13. Chaytor Rake  16m  HVS 5b

Start 5m right of the long flat roof.  Climb the prominent straight crack which runs the full height of the wall.

Karl Lunt, Alison Sharman                8/7/95

 

14. It's Good Crack  16m E1 5b  **

6m right of the long roof is a rough hand crack.  Climb this to a sloping ledge on the right then continue up the crack past a small overlap.                                                     

Geoff Dawson, Karl Lunt                10/5/92

 

15. Odd-Job  16m E1 5a

The obvious crack just right leads to a cleaned niche.  Continue up the steeper crack above taking care with some of the blocks.                                                                  

Tony Madden, Karl Lunt                13/6/99

 

16. Pussy Galore 16m E2 5c *

Climb the steep wall immediately left of the wide crack of "The Scropes" to a point where that route moves rightwards.  Place some runners here then sprint up the bold upper wall.

Tony Madden, Karl Lunt                13/6/99

 

Near the right end of this wall is a tottering pillar.  The next route starts just left of this at a wide crack.

 

17. The Scropes  16m  VS 4c

Climb the wide crack trending slightly right to finish.                                    

Karl Lunt, Alison Sharman               8/7/95

 

18. Grapeshot                    VD

Start as for Portcullis.  Climb the corner and the short wall above.

Tony and Gareth Harrison and John Dale in the summer of 1999

 

This is the present state of development on the wall closest to the road. 

 

 

Right Hand Wall

Walking right, much rock is passed (most of it untouched as yet).  Moving past a large unclimbed wall the next developed section is bounded to the right by a huge ramp of earth which reaches almost to the top of the quarry.  Prominent reference features in this area are a striking aręte with a flat wall on its left and nearer the ramp, a less steep wall with a wide scoop feature in its upper section.

 

The next routes are to be found left of the striking aręte where the boulder/rubble pile is highest.

 

The first two may have changed following a rock fall.

 

13m HS 4b

Climb the scooped aręte starting at the foot of the deep chimney.               

Geoff Hibbert, Karl Lunt - 10/5/98)

 

13m S

The deep chimney finishing up a crack on the left wall.                

(Hibbert, Lunt - 10/5/98)

 

19.    Unnamed Crack        12m  E2 5c  *

Start from the top of the rubble pile.  Climb up to a small overhang.  Pull over into a prominent crack with a dynamic move to reach good holds in a break.  Finish more easily up the crack.              

Geoff Hibbert, Adam Richardson, Karl Lunt - 26/4/98

 

20. Unnamed Corner        15m  HVS 5a

The obvious, open-book corner with a pinnacle at its base left of the striking aręte.                                      

Geoff Hibbert, Karl Lunt, Adam Richardson)  - 26/4/98

 

To the right is the striking aręte.

 

21. The Flashing Blade         15m        F6c        ***

The striking aręte gives an enthralling route. A stiff crux, just below half-height, gives access to the precarious upper reaches.
Chris Shorter, Ian Brown and Dave McKinney, 31st August 2002.

 

Right again is a large corner with an elder tree.

 

22. Unnamed thin Crack        16m E4 6a  ***

Climb the right wall of the tree corner to gain a thin crack just left of the aręte.  Follow the crack then step right to a rest on the aręte.  Move back left and climb the wall stepping back right near the top.

Geoff Hibbert, Karl Lunt - 10/5/98

 

23. Unnamed Layback        16m HVS 5b

Gain and climb the prominent, right-facing layback corner.                    

Adam Richardson, Karl Lunt, Geoff Hibbert - 26/4/98

 

The next few routes are all to be found in the vicinity of the easier-angled wall with the open scoop feature in its upper part.

 

24. Scooper Dooper  18m  VS 4c

Start below the scoop and climb the wall to a small ledge at 4m.  A slim groove on the right leads into the upper scoop.  Finish past a small ledge near the top.                                                  

Karl Lunt, Geoff Hibbert - 10/5/98

 

25. Thumbs Up  18m  VS 4c

Climb a groove just right of  "Scooper Dooper"  into the base of the upper scoop.  Climb the right side of this scoop using a prominent straight crack and the groove to its left.                   

Karl Lunt, Alison Sharman - August, 1997

 

To the right of the upper scoop the wall develops into a rounded pillar split by another straight, thin crack.

 

26. Gordon  16m  E3 5c  **

Start immediately below the upper pillar.  Gain this by relatively easy rock then ascend the deceptively steep finger crack.  Sustained but well protected.                                                             

Karl Lunt, Geoff Hibbert, Richardson  - 26/4/98

 

27. Massacre  16m  HVS 5a

Climb broken rock just right of "Gordon" to gain a straight crack leading to a ledge on the right.  Pull onto the ledge then finish up the short, awkward corner above.                                      

Karl Lunt, Tony Madden - 17/4/99

 

The final route is to be found just left of the huge earth ramp which ends this section of the quarry.

 

28. Starting Point  15m  E3 5c  *

Start at the foot of the aręte and make bold and difficult moves to gain a resting point.   Finish with difficulty up the right side of the aręte ..

Original start: climb the strenuous, right-slanting crack just up the earth ramp.  Move left to the resting point on the aręte.     

Karl Lunt, Geoff Hibbert 10/5/98.  Direct Start: Madden, Lunt - 17/4/99 

 

Further right is another buttress see PDF for more details.

 

Gallery:

CobscarWallE25cByKarlLunt.jpg (14370 bytes)

ItsGoodCrackE15bBykarlLKunt.jpg (17990 bytes)

HibbertsRouteE46aByKarlLunt.jpg (13695 bytes)

Flashing Blade 3copy.jpg (92517 bytes)

Cobscar Wall E2 5c   

Photo by Karl Lunt

Its Good Crack E1 5b   

Photo by Karl Lunt

Hibberts Route E4 6a   

Photo by Karl Lunt

Chris Shorter on the first ascent of Flashing Blade F6c

 

 

 

More photos can be found here

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